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Great nature reserves to visit in June

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Posted: Thursday 31st May 2018 by bbowtblog

Chimney Meadows by Wendy TobittChimney Meadows by Wendy Tobitt

With nearly 90 nature reserves to choose from in our three counties, which are the best to visit this month?

Here are our top reserves in Berks, Bucks and Oxon to visit during June.

Why not make a day of it and take one of our Wild Walks to explore our reserves and the surrounding countryside. Or come along to a guided walk at some of the reserves and learn more about the wildlife and our work.

Let us know what wildlife you see when you visit our reserves. Share your photos of our reserves with us on Twitter and Facebook or upload them to our Flickr gallery.

Click on the photos below to go to the reserve webpage for more information and how to get there.

Berks 

Decoy Heath

small red damselfly

Decoy Heath is one of the best sites for dragonflies and damselflies in Berkshire. No fewer than 23 species have been known to breed around its shallow pools, including the downy emerald dragonfly and the rare small red damselfly (above). It's also a fantastic place for birds, including ground nesting birds such as nightjar and woodlark.  

Moor Copse

Moor Copse wild flowers

Explore the meadows at Moor Copse and discover wild flowers and beautiful butterflies. Dragonflies and damselflies hunt up and down the River Pang, which meanders through the reserve. Keep an eye out for a kingfisher as you stroll along the banks. Wander through the dappled shade of the woodland and look for woodland butterflies and flowers.

Bucks

Aston Clinton Ragpits

Aston Clinton Ragpits

Tucked away on the edge of Wendover Woods between Aylesbury and Tring, Aston Clinton Ragpits is a remarkable nature reserve. Just three hectares in size and boasting eight species of orchid and over 25 different types of butterfly, this reserve offers a real treat to visitors in spring and summer. Towards the end of June you can enjoy a spectacular display of orchids which includes greater butterfly-orchid, pyramidal orchid and thousands of chalk fragrant-orchids with their deep pink, clove-scented flowers.

Learn more about the wild orchids in the Chilterns at our talk and guided walks in June

Yoesden

A haven for butterflies. Photo by Colin Williams

Yoesden nature reserve contains a precious bank of chalk grassland brimming with wild flowers and butterflies during the summer. Adonis blue (above) and small blue butterflies are among the many butterfly species you may see there. Sit for a while and admire the views across the valley, then stroll through the woodland, once home to local bodgers 

Oxon

Chimney Meadows

Chimney Meadows

In spring and summer these grasslands at Chimney Meadows are transformed by an ever-changing display of wild flowers that attract busy communities of insects. At this time of year, plants such as yellow rattle, common knapweed, oxeye daisy and pepper-saxifrage are beginning to bloom, and later in the summer can be found in abundance. 

Discover more about the reserve on our guided walk on Sunday 1 July, National Meadows Day.

Cholsey Marsh

kingfisher

Look out for kingfishers hunting across the water at Cholsey Marsh. At this time of year many dragonflies and damselfies emerge and hunt for insects over the marsh. Keep a look out for the common clubtail dragonfly, which has a distinctive club-shaped tail. 

A variety of birds use the site for breeding and roosting. Listen out for warblers singing in the scrub and reedbeds. At dusk look for the ghostly shape of barn owls as they fly over the reserve searching for voles. Cholsey Marsh is a favoured roosting site for corn buntings and meadow pipits, keep an eye (or ear) out for them gathering at dusk. 

Read Ed's recent blog about the dawn chorus at Cholsey Marsh

Things to do

  • Read our top 10 wildlife sightings for June, how many will you see before the month is out?
  • Find a nature reserve near you with the Wildilfe Trusts' Nature Finder app for iphone and Android
  • Share your photos of our reserves with us on Twitter and Facebook or upload them to our Flickr gallery
  • Oxfordshire photographer Andrew Marshall's book Photographing wildlife in the UK (published by Fotovue) includes advice on how to take great wildlife photographs. The book includes top locations for photographing wildlife and some images that were taken on BBOWT nature reserves (Greenham Common, Chimney Meadows, Foxholes and College Lake).
  • Our experts work with over 1,400 volunteers to look after over 80 nature reserves, five education centres and run hundreds of amazing events. We rely on the generosity of individuals, charitable trusts and businesses. Help us look after these precious places for your local wildlife by donating today.
  • Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with wildlife news. 
  • Help BBOWT to maintain these precious havens for wildlife by becoming a volunteer.

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